Posted inAbout The BarLegislatureNewsState Bar

Texas House passes State Bar Sunset bill

The Texas House voted, 125-21, on Tuesday to pass the State Bar of Texas Sunset bill, SB 302.

The Senate passed the bill unanimously on April 4. It now heads back to the Senate for concurrence or a conference committee to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions.

The bill retains the rules referendum vote of State Bar members and would require a referendum in cases where a dues increase of more than 10 percent is proposed in a six-year period. Continue Reading

Posted inAward NominationsCLENews

San Antonio federal judge to receive CLE award from State Bar

genecavinSan Antonio federal judge Xavier Rodriguez has been named as the recipient of a State Bar of Texas award that recognizes long-term contributions to continuing legal education.

Rodriguez, judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, will receive the 2017 Gene Cavin Award for Excellence in CLE at the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting in June in Dallas.

Continue Reading

Posted inNewsVeterans

Free legal clinic for veterans in Galveston

veterans_unsplashThe Galveston County Bar Association and the Houston Bar Foundation’s Veterans Legal Initiative are sponsoring a free legal clinic for veterans on Saturday, May 20, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Veterans and spouses will receive one-on-one advice and counsel from volunteer attorneys in family law, wills and probate, consumer law, real estate and tax law, and disability and veterans benefits.

Continue Reading

Posted inLocal BarsNews

Bastrop bar association play raises money for scholarships

editIMG_8845Local lawyers and judges took their talents to the stage last month as a part of the Bastrop County Bar Association’s annual theatrical fundraiser.

The Cedar Creek Shootout: State of Texas vs. Orange W. Wicks was a historically accurate three-act play based on an 1889 murder case, in which the first black justice of the peace in Bastrop County was charged and later convicted following a shootout outside his courtroom that left two black men and two white men dead.

Continue Reading

Posted inSponsored Content

America Ranks 94th Worldwide in Civil Justice: Attorneys and the Legal Insurance Industry Are Partnering to Improve Access and Affordability

250x250 Monthly Attorney articleI’ve learned a lot this past year as I traveled across the country meeting with state bar associations and legal industry leaders, but one thing stood out as a reoccurring theme: Many of us in the legal community are passionate about providing all Americans access to affordable legal services.

We are not okay with the fact that the United States of America, which prides itself as a leading proponent of liberty and justice around the globe, tied for 94th place out of 113 countries in terms of accessibility and affordability of civil justice in 2016. We rank below countries like Mexico, Turkey, Ukraine, Dominican Republic, Kazakhstan and Bolivia.

One thing many countries that rank in the top 10 for access to affordable civil justice, including Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands, have in common? They are countries that support and promote legal insurance.
Continue Reading

Posted inNewsTexas Bar Journal

Texas Bar Journal announces 2017 Short Story Contest winners

Screen-Shot-2017-02-15-at-2.45.54-PMThank you to the 36 writers who submitted entries to the Texas Bar Journal Short Story Contest this year.

To keep the contest fair and impartial, author names were removed from each entry. Two panels of judges faced the challenging task of selecting the winners, and for each round, the same evaluation form was used for consistency. Eleven entries advanced to the final round, which was judged by Mike Farris of Dallas, Amanda Moore of Austin, and Stephanie Tillman of Houston.

Continue Reading

Posted inAbout The BarConferenceCriminal Law

Scholarships available to criminal law attorneys interested in conferences

The State Bar of Texas Criminal Justice Section has announced that a record $30,000 in scholarships will be available to criminal law practitioners who would like to attend any of the following criminal justice conferences in San Antonio, Houston, Austin, or Fort Worth within the next few months:

·      30th Annual Rusty Duncan Advanced Criminal Law Course (San Antonio, June 22-24)

·      Criminal Law Boot Camp 101 (Houston, July 16)

·      43rd Annual Advanced Criminal Law Seminar (Houston, July 17-20)

·      43rd Annual Advanced Criminal Law Seminar and Boot Camp 101 (Houston, July 16-20)

·      Video Presentations for Advanced Criminal Law Seminar (Austin, Sept. 6-8; Fort Worth, Sept. 13-15)

·      TDCAA Annual Conference (San Antonio, Sept. 20-22)

Continue Reading

Posted inJuryMock TrialNews

Brewster County summons the Force for Jury Appreciation Week

Brewster County Law Appreciation Week

On May 4, students from Alpine, Marathon, and Terlingua high schools were chosen as jurors to decide the fate of Luke Skywalker.

When we last saw the Jedi knight, he was exiled on a seaside cliff—bearded and in a hooded robe like old Ben Kenobi. But unlike his Jedi Master, Skywalker, who famously fired the shot that destroyed the original Death Star, has now been charged with 1,179,293 counts of murder for the lives lost on the dwarf planet-sized galactic superlaser. Continue Reading

Posted inAccess to JusticeNewsState BarVeterans

Champions of Justice Gala raises over $560,000 for veterans

Efrén C. Olivares (right) of the South Texas Civil Rights Project accepts the James B. Sales Boots on the Ground award Wednesday from Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht. Photo courtesy of Hannah Day Photography.

Efrén C. Olivares (right) of the South Texas Civil Rights Project accepts the James B. Sales Boots on the Ground award Wednesday from Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht. Photo courtesy of Hannah Day Photography.

The 2017 Champions of Justice Gala Benefiting Veterans raised $560,200 to help provide civil legal services to low-income Texas veterans.

The eighth annual gala, held Wednesday in Austin, has raised more than $3 million since its inception. The State Bar of Texas underwrites the event to ensure that proceeds go to helping veterans get legal assistance.

Highlights of the 2017 gala included a keynote presentation by former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker, III, and the official launch of the Joe Jamail Endowment for Veteran Legal Services. Houston attorney Richard Mithoff created the endowment fund in honor of the late Joe Jamail, a longtime supporter of the gala and of legal services to the poor in Texas.

Efrén C. Olivares, who directs the Racial and Economic Justice Program at the South Texas Civil Rights Project, accepted the James B. Sales Boots on the Ground award for his work on behalf of low-income Texans.

Read the news release from the Texas Access to Justice Commission and visit the commission’s Flickr page for photos.